The Sunday Oregonian. (Portland, Ore.) 1881-current, September 07, 1919, Magazine Section, Page 7, Image 97

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    m 7
(Copyright, ltJlT. by Robert W. Chunbtra,
aad copyright, 117. by the Interna
tional Jaegaxlne comptor.)
NEELAND had several letters from
Rahannah Carew that autumn
and winter. The first one was
written a few weks after her arrival
In Paris.
Dear Mr. Neeland: Please forgive me for
writing to you. but I am tomuick.
I bare written every week to mother and
made my Utters red ae though
wera still married, because It would almost
Kill bar If she know the truth.
Some day I shall have te tell her, but not
yei. toum you ten me now you mint tne
new ought to be broken to her and father f
That man was net on the steamer. I was
quite 111 crossing the ocean. Bui the last
two days I went en deck with the Princess
Mistchenka and her maid, and I enjoyed the
The princess has been eo friendly. I should
have died, I think, without her, what with
my seasickness and homesickness, and brood
ing over my terrible tall. I know it Is Ira
morel to say so, but I did not want to live
any longer, truly I didn't. J even asked to
be taken. I am sorry now that I prayed that
Well, I have passed through the most
awtul pert of my life. I think. I feel strange
and different, as though I hsd been very
sick, and had died, and as though It were
another girl sitting here writing to you. and
not the girl whe was in your studio last
A. us" use
Then came a note from the Princess
Mistchenka, enclosing; a tremulous line
from Rue:
Hon cher Jsmes: Doubtless you have al
ready heard of the ead death of Ruhannah's
parents within a few hours of each other
both stricken with pneumonia within the
same week. The local minister cabled her
as Mrs. Brandes in my care. Then he wrote
to the child; the letter haa Just arrived.
hiy poor little protege la prostrated
talks wildly of going back at once. But to
what purpose now, mon ami ? Ber loved
enes will have been la their grave for
days before Kuhannab could arrive.
There are bound to be complications. I
fear. In regard to this mock marriage of
here. I have consulted ray attorneys here
and they are not very certain that the cere
mony was not genuine enough to require
further legal steps to free her entirely. A
asiit for annulment Is possible.
Please have the house at Brookhollow
locked np and keep the keys In your pos
session for the present. Judge Cary will
have the keys sent to yon. NAIA.
Then came another letter, later, to
him from Miss Carew:
The princess I simply adorable. Since I
have laid aside mourning we go to concerts,
plays, operas, to fit. Cloud. Versailles, Fon
tainbleau. So many Interesting men come te our
Thursdays; and some women. 1 prefer the
men, 1 think. There is one old French gen
eral who Is a dear; and there are young
officers, too; and yesterday two cabinet
ministers and several people from the British
and Russian embassies. And the Turkish
charge, whom I dislike.
The women seem to be agreeable, and they
all are most beautifully gowned. Some have
titles. But all eeem to be a little too much
made up. I don't know any of them except
formally. But I feel that I know some of
the men better especially the old general
and a young military attache of the Russian
embassy, whom everybody likes and pets.
and whom everybody calls Prince Erlik
such a handsome boy! And his real name Is
Alak. and I think he is very much in love
with Princess Nala-
Now, something very odd has happened
which I wish to tell you about. My father,
as you know, was missionary in the Vilayet
of Treblxond many years ago. While there
he came Into possession of a curious
chest belonging te a German named Conrad
Wilner. who was killed in a riot near Gal'
In this chest were, and still are. two very
Interesting things an old bronse Chinese
figure which I used to play with when I
was a child. It was called the Yellow
. Xevil; and a native Chinese missionary once
read for us the Inscription on the figure
which Identified It as a Mongol demon called
Erlik. the Prince of Darkness.
The other object of Interest In the box
was the manuscript diary kept by this Herr
wilner to within a few moments of his
death. This I have often heard reed aloud
by my father, but I forgot much of It now,
and I never understood it all, because I was
too young.
It is so long since I have reed the diary
that I can't remember the story In which
the names Naia and Mistchenka are con
cerned. As I recollect. It was a tragic story
that used to tarlll me.
At any rate, I didn't speak of this te
Princess Naia: but about a week age there
were a few people dining here with us
among others an eld Turkish Admiral. Murad
Pasha, who took me out. And as soon as
I heard hia name I thought of that diary;
and I am sure It was mentioned In It.
Anyway, he happened to speak of Trebl
sond; and. naturally. I said that my father
had been a missionary there many years
. ago.
As this seemed to Interest him, and be
cause he questioned me, I told him my
fat her a name and all that I knew in re
gard to his career as a missionary In the
Treblxond district. And, somehow I don't
exactly recollect how it came about I spoke
of Herr Wilner. and his death at Galllpoli,
and how hia effects came Into my father's
And because the eld. sleepy-eyed Admiral
seemed so Interested and amused, I told
him about Herr Wllner's box and his diary
and the plans and maps and photographs
with which I used to play as a little child.
Murad did not come again; but a few
days later the Turkish Charge d" Affairs was
present at a very large dinner given by
Princess Naia.
And two curious conversations occurred at
that dinner:
The Turkish Charge, Izxet Bey. suddenly
turned to me and asked me In English
whether I were not the daughter of the
Reverend wllbour Carew who once was in
chance of the American mission near Tre
blxond. I was so surprised at the question
but I answered yes, remembering that
Msrad mnst have mentioned me to him.
Be continued to ask me about my father,
aad spoke of his efforts te establish a girls'
school, first at Bruta. then at Tchardak
and finally near Galllpoli. I told him I had
often heard my father speak of these mat
ters with my mother, but that I waa toe
young to remember anything about my own
Ufa In Turkey.
All the while we were conversing. I no
ticed that the Princess kept looking across
the table at us as though some chance
word had attracted her attention.
I didn't know what she meant, hut Izxet
Bey turned a bright scarlet, bowed again.
and returned to the smoking room.
And that night, while Suzanne was un
hooking me. Princess Naia came Into my
bedroom and asked me eorae questions, and
I laid her about the box of Instruments and
the diary, and the slippery linen papers cov
ered with drawings and German writing.
with which I used to play.
She said never to mention them to any
body, and that I ehould never permit any
body to examtne tnose mrrrtary papers, be
cause It might be harmful to America.
How odd and how thrilling! I am most
curious to know what all thla means. It
seems like an exciting story just beginning.
and I wonder what such a girl as I has to
da with secrets which concern the Turkish
Charge In Paris.
Don't you think It premises to he ro
mantic? Do you suppose it has anything
to do with spies and diplomacy and kings
and thrones, and terrible military secrets?
One hears a great deal about the embassies
here being - bolbeds of political Intrigue.
And of course France ie always thinking of
Alsace and Lorraine, and there is an ever
p resent danger of war la Europe.
One day there came to him a note
from the Princess Mltachenka:
Dear Jim: Too. In America, have heard
ef the murder of the Austrian Archduke, of
course. But have you. In America, any
Idea what the consequences of that mur
der may lead to?
Enough of that. Now for the favor I ask.
Will you go at once to Brookhollow. go
to Ruhannah's house, open It. take from It
. a chest made of olive wood and bound with
some metal which looks like silver, lock
the box and take It to New York, place It
tn a safe deposit vault until you can sail for
Paris on the first steamer that leaves New
York ?
Will yon do this get the box I have de
scribed and bring It to me yourself on
the first steamer that sails?
And, Jim. keep your eye on the bos. Don't
trust anybody near It. Rue says that, as
she recollects, the box Is about the sixe and
shape of a eultcase and that It has a can
vas and leather cover with a handle which
battens ever It,
If you find yourself embarrassed finan
cially, cable me Just one word. "Black. and
X shall arrange matters through a New York
If you feel that you do not care to do me
this favor, cable the single word. "White."
If you bsvt sufficient funds, and are
willing to bring the box to me yourself,
cable the word, "Blue.
Jim. I have seldom taken a very serious
tone with you since we have known each
Lher. I am very serious now. And If our I
friendship means anything to you, prove Itl
Yours, NAIA.
As he sat there in his studio, per
plexed, amazed, annoyed, yet curious,
trying to think out what he ought to
do what, in fact, must be done some
how or other there came a ring at his
door bell. A messenger with a cable
dispatch stood there; Neeland signed,
I tore open the envelope, and read:
Please go at once to Brookhollow and se
cure an olive-wood box bound with silver,
containing military maps, plans, photographa,
and papers written in German, property of
Ruhannah Carew. Lose no time, I implore
you. as an attempt to rob the house and
steal the papers Is likely. Beware of any
body resembling a German. Have written.
but beg you not to wait for letter. NAIA
Twice he reread the cablegram. Then,
with a half-bewildered, half-disgusted
glance around at his studio, his belong
ing. the unfinished work on his easel.
he went to tne teiepnone.
It being July, he bad little difficulty
in reserving a good stateroom on the
Cunarder Volhynia, sailing the follow
ing day. Then, summoning the janitor.
he packed a steamer trunk and gave
order to have it taken aboard that
On his way downtown to bis bank he
stopped at a telegraph and cable office
and sent a cable message to the
Princess Mistchenka. The text con
sisted of only one word: "Blue.
He departed for Gayfield on the
o'clock afternoon train, carrying with
him a suitcase and an automatio pistol
in his breast pocket.
From the road, just before Neeland
descended to cross the bridge Into
Brookhollow, he caught a gleam of
light straight ahead. - For a moment it
did not occur to him that there waa
anything strange in his seeing a light
In the old Carew house. Then, sud
denly, he realised that a light ought
not to be burning behind the lowered
shades of a house which was supposed
to be empty and locked.
His Instant impulse was to put on
hia brakes then and there, but the
next moment be realized that his car
must already have been heard and
seen By wnoever Had iigntea urn
shaded lamp. The car was already on
the old stone bridge; the Carew house
stood directly behind the crossroads
ahead; and he swung to the right into
the creek road and sped along it until
he judged that neither his lights nor
the sound of his motor could be dis
tinguished by the unknown occupant
of the Carew house.
He fitted his key to the door, care-
less of what noise he made, unlocked
and pushed it open, and started to cross
the threshold.
Instantly the light In the adjoining
room grew dim. At the same moment
his auick ear caught a sound as though
somebody had blown out the turn-down
flame; and he found himself facing
total darkness.
"Who the devil's In there!" he called,
flashing his electric pocket lamp.
"Come out- whoever you are, Tou've
I no business in this house, and you
know it!" And he entered the silent
room. Full In the glare, her face as
white as the light itself, stood a
woman. And just in time his eyes
caught the glitter of a weapon In her
stiffly extended hand; and he snapped
off his light and ducked as the level
pistol-flame darted through the dark
ness. The next second he had her In his
grasp; held her writhing and twisting;
and, through the confused trample and
heavy breathing, he noticed a curious
crackling noise as though the clothing
she wore were made of paper.
The struggle in pitch darkness waa
violent but brief; she managed to lira
again as he caught her right arm and
felt along it until he touched the aes
perately clenched pistol. Then, still
clutching her closed fingers, he pulled
the flash light from bis aide pocket
and threw its full radiance straight into
her face.
"Let o vour nlstol." he breathed.
She strove doggedly to retain It,
but her slender fingers, slowly relaxed
under his - merciless grip: the pistol
fell; and he kicked the pearl-handled.
nickel-plated weapon across the dusty
board floor.
They both were panting; her right
arm, rigid, still remained in his power
ful clutch. He released It presently.
stepped back and played the light over
her from head to foot.
She was deathly white. TJnder her
smart straw hat. which had been pushed
awry, tne contrast neiween ner DiacK
hair and eyes and her chalky skin was
Without further ceremony, he pulled
out his handkerchief, caught her firmly.
reached for her other arm, jerked it
behind her back, and tied both her
wrists. Then he dragged a chair up
and pushed her on it.
Her hat had fallen off. and her hair
sagged to her neck. The frail stuff
of which her waist was made had been
badly torn, too, and hung in rags from
her right shoulder.
"Who are you?" he demanded.
"Why did you come here?" he de
manded. I
No answer.
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flssV "TiI'i'm" ' ' ' -TX-T W
I.. . . i-. -Nv-e'v s -Av
"Ton know. Don't humiliate me."
"Answer my question! What are you
if you're not a lady crook?"
"I'm employed as you are! Play the
game fairly." She halted In the dark
pasture, but he motioned her to go
"If you don't keep on walking," he
said, "I'll pick you up as I would a pet
cat and carry you. Now, then, once
more, who are you working for? By
whom are you employed. If you're not
a plain thief?"
"The Turkish embassy.'
"Tou knew it," the said in' a low
rolce, walking through the darkness
beside him.
"What Is your name?" he insisted. .
"Dumont." .
"What else?" '-
"Use Dumont."
"That's French."
"It's Alsatian German."
"All right. Now, why did you break
into that houser
"To take what you took.'
"To steal these papers for the Turk
ish embassy?"
"To take them.1
"For the Turkish ambassador!" he
repeated increduously.
"No; for his military attacne,
"What are you. a spy?"
"Tou knew it well enough. Tou are
one, also. But you have treated me as
though I were a thief. Tou'li be killed
urvi a a. M ' LUI ll as, alWOo
via you come u gei an ouve-wooa pm m 6pyr he asked,
A slight color tinted' the aahy pallor JfJl'tlse are you
unoer ner eyea. . h, -.ri(:.t.d. "Is that what
He turned abruptly and swept the
you are? And you suppose me to be
furniture with his searchlight and saw j - t ? Thaf8 funny. That's ex
on a table her coat, gloves, wrist Bag. tram-iy He checked himself.
looked around at her. "vvnat are you
aboutr he demanded. "What's that in
your hand?"
" A clu-areitta.'
They had arrived at the road. He
got over the wall with the box; she
vaulted It lightly.
In the darkness he caught -the low.
steady throbbing of his engine, and
presently distinguished the car stand
ing where he naa leit it.
"May I have a match for my cigar
attar rttie asked meekly.
He found one, scratched It; she placed
a very thick and long cigarette db
w.n her Una and he lighted it for her.
Just as he threw In the clutch and
the car started, the girl blew a shower
of sparks from the end of her cigarette,
rose in her seat and flung the lighted
cigarette high into the air. Instantly
It burst Into a nare 01 ti iihovm
hanging aloft as though It were a fire
balloon, and lighting up road and creek
and bushes and fields with a brilliant
strontium glare.
Then, far in the night, he hoard a
motor horn screech three times.
"Tou young devil!" he said, increas
ing the speed. "1 oogm to -nn..h,rH
that every snake has its
If you offer to 'touch
me if you move If you as much as
lift a finger, I'll throw you Into the
Cr!!'lIrt.nrh laid one hand lightly
on his arm 'Why should you Involve
yourself you, an American i xui moo
ter is no concern of yours
"What matter?" .
"The matter concerning those pa
pers. I tell you It does not concern
you: It Is none of your business. Let
me be frank with yoi; the papers are
f importance to a foreign govern
ment to the German government. And
in no way do they threaten your peo
ple or your country's welfare. Why.
then, do you Interfere? Why do you
use violence toward an agent of a for
eign and friendly government?"
"Why does a foreign and friendly
government employ spies in a friendly
country?" .
"All governments do. , .
"Is that so?"
"It is. America swarms with Brit
ish and French agents."
"How do you know?" ' '
-It's my business to know, Mr. Nee-
la"Then that is your profession! Tou
really are a spy?"
"And' you pursue this ennobling pro-
and furled umbrella: and besides them
what appeared to be her suitcase, open.
It bad a canvas and leather cover; he
walked over to the table, turned back
the cover of the suitcase and revealed
a polished box of olive wood, heavily
banded by some metal resembling
Inside the box were books, photo
graphs, a bronze Chinese figure, which
he recognised as the Tellow Devil, a
pair of revolvers, a dagger very much
like the one he had wrested from her.
But there were no military plans there.
He turned to his prisoner:
"Is everything here?" he aaked rery
He picked np ber wrist bag and
opened It, but discovered only soma
money, a handkerchief, a spool of
thread and packet of needles.
There was a glass lamp on the table.
He managed to light it finally; turned
off his flash light and examined the
contents of the box again thoroughly.
Then ha oame back to where she was
"Get up." he aald.
She looked at him sruTienly without
"I'm in a hurry." he repeated: "get
up. I'm going to search you.
At that she bounded to her feet.
"What!" she exclaimed furiously.
But he caught hold of ber. held her.
untied the handkerchief, freeing her
"Now pull out those papers you have
concealed under your clothing," he said
impatiently. And, as she made no mo
tion to comply: "If you don't I'll do
it for you.
Tou dare lay your hand on mar she
"Ton treacherous little cat, do you
think Til hesitate V he retorted. "Do
you Imagine I retain any respect for
you or your person? Give me those
There were papers In her stockings.
papers stitched to her stays, basted in
side her skirts. A roll of drawings
traced on linen lay on the floor, still
retaining the warmth of her bodv
around which they had been wrapped.
Halfway across the dark pasture she
stopped short in her tracks.
"Have I got to carry you?" he de
manded sharply.
'Don't have me locked up."
'Why not?"
I'm not a a thief."
Oh! Excuse me. What are you?"
fession with an enthusiasm which does
not stop short of murder!"
" "I had no choice."
"Tes, It might become so. . . . ' Mr.
Neeland, I have no personal feeling of
anger for you. Tou offered me vio
lence; you behaved brutally. Indecently.
But I want you to understand that no
petty personal feeling incites me. The
wrong you have done me is nothing;
the injury you threaten to do my coun
try is very grave. I ask you to be
lieve that I speak the truth. It is in
the service of my country that I have
acted. Nothing matters to me except
my country's welfare. Individuals are
nothing; the fatherland everything.
. . . Will you give me back my pa
"No. I shall return them to their
"Is that final?"
"It is."
"I am sorry," she said.
A moment later the lights of Orange
ville came into distant view across the
dark and rolling country.
It was in mid-ocean that Neeland
finally came to the conclusion that
nobody on board the Volhynia was
likely to bother him or his box.
The July weather had been magnifi
cent blue skies, a gentle wind, and a
sea scarcely silvered by a comber.
Assorted aenlzens of the Atlantic
took part In the traditional vaudeville
performance for the benefit of the Vol
hynla passengers; gulls followed the
wake to mid-ocean; Mother Carey's
chickens skimmed the baby billows;
dolphins turned watery flip-flaps un
der the bows; and even a distant whale
consented to oblige.
Everybody pervaded the decks morn
ing, noon and evening; the most
squeamish recovered confidence in 24
hours; and every constitutional lubber
concluded he was a born sailor.
Neeland really was one; no nausea
born from the bad adjustment of that
anatomical auricular gyroscope recent
ly discovered in man ever disturbed
his abdominal nerves. Short of ship
wreck, he enjoyed any entertainment
the Atlantic offered him.
So he was always on deck, tran
quilly happy and with nothing in the
world to disturb him except his re
sponsibility for the olive-wood box.
He dared not leave it in nis locked
cabin; he dared not entrust It to any
body; he lugged It -about with him
wherever he went. On deck It stood
beside his steamer chair; it dangled
from his hand when he promenaded.
exciting the amazement and curiosity
of others; It reposed on the floor un
der the table and beneath his attentive
feet when he was at meals.
These elaborate precautions Indi
cated his wholesome respect for the
persistence of Scheherazade and her
friends; he was forever scanning his
fellow-voyagers at table. In the smok
ing room, and as they strolled to and
fro In front of his steamer chair, try
ing to make; np his mind concerning
Perhaps it was because he did not
feel particularly hungry that his din
ner appeared unappetising; possibly
because It had been standing In the
corridor outside his door for 20
minutes, which did not add to Its desirability.
The sun had set and the air In the
room had grown cold. He felt chilly;
and. when he uncovered the silver
tureen and discovered that the soup
was still piping hot, he drank some of
it to warm himself.
He had swallowed about half a cup
ful before he discovered that the sea
soning was not agreeable to his palate
In fact, the flavor of the hot broth was
so decidely unpleasant that he pushed
aside the cup and sat down on the edge
of his bunk without any further desire
to eat anything.
A glass of water from the carafe did
not seem to rid him of the subtle, dis
agreeable taste lingering In his mouth
in fact, the water itself seemed to be
tainted with it.
He sat for a few moments fumbling
for his cigarette case, feeling curiously
uncomfortable, as though the slight
motion of the ship were affecting his
As he sat there looking at the un
ltghted cigarette in his hand, it fell
to the carpet at his feet. He started
to stoop for it, caught himself in time,
pulled himself erect with an effort.
Something was wrong with him
very wrong.
The captain of the Volyhnla had jUBt
come from the bridge and was taking
a bite of late supper In his cabin when
the orderly announced Neeland. He
rose at once, offering a friendly hand:
"Mr. Neeland, 1 am very glad to see
you by name and reputation already.
There were some excellent pictures by
you In the latest number of the Mid
week magazine."
"I'm so glad you liked them, Captain
"Tes, I did. There was a breeze In
them a gaiety. And such a fetching
girl you drew for your heroinel"
"Tou think so! It's rather interest
ing. I met a young girl once she
comes from up-state where I came
from. There was a peculiar and rather
subtle attraction about her face. So I
altered the features of the study I was
making from my model and put In hers
as I remembered them."
"She must be beautiful, Mr. Neeland."
"It hadn't struck me so until I drew
her from memory. And there's more to
the story. I never met her but twice
in mv life the second time under ex
ceedingly dramatic circumstances. And
now rm crossing the Atlantic at a
day's notice to oblige her. It's an
amusing story. Isn't it?"
Mr. Neeland. I tnink it is going to
be what you call a 'continued' story."
No. Oh. no. It ougnt to be, consider
ing its elements. But it .isn't. There's
no further romance in- it. Captain
The captain's smile was pleasant but
Thev seated themselves, Neeiana ae-
clininer an invitation to eupper, and
the captain asking nis indulgence u
he talked while eating.
"Mr. Neela:id," he said, Tm about
talk rather frankly with you. I have
had several messages by wireless to
day from British sources, concerning
you. .
Neeland, smrpHsed, said nothing.
Captain West finished hie bite of sup
per; the steward removed the dishes
and went out, closing the door. The
captain glanced at the box which Nee
land had set cn the floor by his chair.
"May I ask," he said, "why you
brought your suitcase with you?"
"It's valuable."
The caDtain's keen eyes were on his.
"Why are you followed by spies?"
he asked.
Neeland reddened.
"Tes," continued the captain of the
Volnynia, "my government instructs
me, by wireless, to offer you any aid
and protection you may desire. I am
Informed that you carry papers or mm
tary importance to a certain foreign
nation with which neither England nor
France are on what might be called
cordial terms. I am told it is likely
that agents of this foreign country
have followed you aboard my ship for
the purpose of robbing you of these
papers Now. Mr. rxeeiana, wnat ao
you know about this business?"
"Very little." said Neeland.
"Have you had any trouble?" -
"Oh, yee."
The captain sm'led:
"Evidently you have wriggled out of
it," he said.
"Tes, wriggled is the literal word."
"Then you do not think that you re
quire ax; protection from me?"
Perhaps I do. i ts been a singular-
lr innocent and lucky ass. It's merely
chance that my papers have not been
stolen, even before I started in quest
of them.
"Have you been troubled aboard my
Neeland waved his hand carelessly:
"Nothing to speak of, thank you."
"If you have any charge to make "
"Oh, no."
The captain regarded him Intently.
"Let me tell you something." he said.
'Since we sailed, have you noticed the
bulletins posted containing otxr wire
less news?"
"Tes, I've read them."
"Did they interest you?"
"Tes. Tou mean that row between
Austria and Servia over the archduke's
"I mean exactly that, Mr. Neeland.
And now I am going to tell you some
thing else. Tonight I had a radio mes
sage which I shall not post on the bul
letins for various reasons. But I shall
tell you under the seal of confidence."
"I give you my word of honor,"
said Neeland quietly.
"I accept it, Mr. Neeland. Ana tnis
is what has happened: Austria has de
cided on an ultimatum to Servia. And
probably will send it."
They remained silent for a moment,
then the captain continued:
"Why should we deceive ourselves?
This is the most serious thing that has
happened since the Hohenzollern inci
dent which brought on the Franco
Prussian war."
Neeland nodded.
The sun hung well above the river
mists and threw long, cherry-red
beams across the choppy channel where
clotted Jets of steam and smoke from
tug and steamer drifted with the fog;
and still the captain of the Volhynia
and young Neeland sat together In low
voiced conference In the captain's
cabin: and a sailor, armed with cutlass
and pistol, stood outside the locked
and bolted door,
Off the port bow, Liverpool spread
as far as the eye could see through the
shredded fog; to starboard, off Birk
enhead, through a haze of pearl and
lavender, the tall phantom of an old-
time battleship loomed.
Through the crowded Paris terminal
Neeland pushed his way, carrying the
olive-wood box in his hand and keep
ing an eye on his porter, who preceded
him carrying the remainder of his lug-
traee and repeating:
Place. s'll vous plait, msieu-,
To Neeland it was like a homecom
ing after many years' exile; the subtle
but perfectly specific odor of Paris
assailed his nostrils once again; the
raDid. emphatic, lively language of
France sounded once more delight
fully in his eager ears; vivacity and
intelligence sparkled in every eye that
met his own. It was a throng of rapid
movement, of animated speech, of ges
ticulation. And, as it was in the be
ginning when he first arrived there
as a student, he fell In love with it at
first sight and contact.
And, of a sudden, he noticed the pret
tiest girl he had ever seen in his life.
She was in white, with a black straw
hat. and her face and figure were love
ly beyond words. Evidently she was
awaiting friends; there was a charm
ing expectancy on her fresh young
face, a slight forward inclination of
her body, as though expectancy and
haDDV impatience alone controlled her.
Her beauty almost took his breatn
'Lord!" he thought to himself. "If
such a girl as that ever stood waiting
for me "
At the same moment her golden-grey
eyes, sweeping the passing crowd, met
his; a sharp thrill of amazement passed
through him as she held out both
gloved hands with a soft exclamation
of recognition:
Jim! Jim Neeland!"
'Rue Carew!" He could scarcely
credit his eyesight, where he stood, hat
in one of his.
No,, there was no use In trying to dis
guise his astonishment. He looked
into the face of this tall young girl,
searched it for familiar features, recog
nized a lovely paraphrase of the
freckled face and thin figure he re
membered, and remained dumb before
this radiant reincarnation of that other
unhappy, shabby and meager child he
had known two years ago. .
Ruhannah, laughing and flushed.
withdrew her hands.
Have I changed? Tou haven't. And
I always thought you the most wonder
ful and ornamental young man on this
planet. I knew you at once, Jim Nee
land. Would you have passed without
recognizing me?"
Perhaps I wouldn t have passed
after seeing you "
Jim Neeland! What a remark!" She
laughed. "Anway, it's nice to believe
myself attractive-enough to be noticed.
And I'm so glad to see you. Naia is
here, somewhere, watching for you"
turning her pretty, eager head to
search for the Princess Mistchenka,
Oh, there she is! She doesn't see
They made their way between the
passing ranks of passengers and port
ers; the princess caught sight of them.
came hastily toward them.
"Jim! It's nice to Bee you. Thank
you for coming! So you found him
Rue? How are you, Jim? And where
is the olive-wood box?
"I'm well, and there's that devilish
box!" he replied, laughing and lifting
It In his hand to exhibit it. "Naia, the
next time you want it, send an escort
of artillery and two battleships!"
"Did you have trouble?"
"Trouble? I had the time of my
life. No moving picture can ever again
excite me; no best seller. I've been
both since I had your cable to get this
box and bring it to you."
He laughed as he spoke, but the
princess continued to regard him very
seriously, and Kue carew s smiie came
and waned like sunlight in a wood, for
she was not quite sure whether be had
really encountered any dangers on this
mission which be had fulfilled eo well.
"Our car is waiting outside," said the
princess. "Where is your porter, Jim?'
Neeland glanced about him, discov.
ered the porter, made a sign for him to
follow, and they moved together to
ward the entrance to the huge terminal.
"1 haven't decided where to stop yet.
began Neeland, but the princess
checked him with a pretty gesture:
"Tou stop with us, Jim."
The chauffeur had swung Neeland's
steamer trunk and suitcase to the side
walk; already the princess and Rue
were advancing to the house, while
Neeland fumbled in his pocket for the
The butler, bowing, relieved him of
the olive-wood box. At the same In
stant the blue-bloused man with the
hose turned the powerful stream of
water directly Into the butler's face.
knocking him flat on the sidewalk;
and his two comrades tripped up Neel
and. Dassed a red sash over his head.
and hurled him aside, blinded, half
strangled, staggering at random, tear-
inn; furiously at the wide band of
woollen cloth which seemed to suffo
cate him.
Already the chauffeur had tossed the
olive-wood box into the cau; the three
blue-bloused men sprang in after it;
the chauffeur slipped into his seat,
threw in the clutch, and, driving with
one hand, turned a pistol on the half
drowned butler, who had reeled to his
feet and was lurching forward to seize
the steering wheel.
The taxicab, gathering speed, was al
ready turning the corner of the rue de
la Lune when Neeland managed to free
throat and eyes from the swathe of
The butler, checked by .the leveled
pistol, stood dripping, still almost
blinded by the force of the water from
the hose; but he had plenty of pluck,
and he followed Neeland on a run to
the corner of the street.
The street was absolutely empty, ex
cept for the sparrows, and the big, fat,
slate-colored pigeons that strutted and
coo-cooed under the shadow of the
chestnut trees.
There's a man dining with us," re
marked the princess, "who has the
same irresponsible and casual views on
life and manners which you entertain,!
No doubt you'll get along very well to
gether." "Who Is heT' asked Neeland.
"A Captain Sengoun, one of our at
taches. It's likely you'll find a con
genial soul in this same Cossack whom
we all call Alak." She added malicious
ly: "His only logic is the Impulse of
the moment, and he is known as Prince
Erlick among his familiars. Erlik was
the devil, you know "
He was announced at that moment,
and came marching in a dark, hand
some, wiry young man with winning
black eyes and a little black moustache
just shadowing his short upper lip
and a head shaped to contain the devil
himself the most reckless looking
head, Neeland thought, that he ever
had beheld In all his life.
But the young fellow's frank smile
was utterly irresistible, and his straight
manner of facing one, and of looking
directly into the eyes of the person
he addressed in his almost too perfect
English, won any listener Immediately.
He bowed formally over Princess
Naia's hand, turned squarely on Neel
and when he was named to the Amer
ican, and exchanged a firm clasp with
him. Then, to the princess:
"I am late? No? Fancy, princess
that great booby, Izzet Bey, must stop
me at the club, and I exceedingly
pressed to dress and entirely out of
humor with all Turks. 'Eh bien, mon
vieux! said he in his mincing manner
or a nervous pelican, they're warm
ing up the Balkan boilers with Aus
trian pine. But I hear they're full of
snow." And I said to him: 'Snow boils
very nicely If the fire Is sufficiently
persistent!' And I think Izzet Bey
will find it so!" with a quick laugh
of explanation to Neeland: "He meant
Russian snow, you see; and that boils
beautifully if they keep on stoking
the boiler with Austrian fuel."
The princess shrugged:
"What schoolboy repartee! Why did
you answer him at all, Alak?"
"Well." explained the attache, "as
I was due here at 8 I hadn't time to
take him by the nose, had I?"
Rue Carew entered and went to the
princess to make amends:
Tm so sorry to be late!" turned
to smile at Neeland, then offered her
hand to the Russian. "How do you
do. Prince Erlik?" she said with the
careless and gay cordiality of old ac
quaintance. "I heard you say some
thing about Colonel Izzet Bey's nose as
I came in."
Captain Sengoun bowed over her
slender white hand:
"The Mohammedan nose of Izzet Bey
is an admirable bit of oriental archi
tecture. Miss Carew. Why should It
surprise you to hear me extol Its bi
zarre beauty?"
Anyway," said, the rlrL "Tm eon-
tented that you left devilry for revel
ry." And, Marotte announcing din
ner, she took the arm of Captain Sen
goun as the princess took Neeland'a
At midnight the two young men had
not yet parted. For. as Sensroun ex
plained, the hour for parting was al
ready past, and it was too late to con
sider it now. And Neeland thought so,
too, what with the laughter and the
music, and the soft night breezes to
counsel folly, and the city's haunting
brilliancy Etretchinar away In. bewitch
ing perspectives still unexplored.
rom every fairy lamp the lustrous
capital signalled to youth her Invita
tion, her challenge, and her menace.
Like some jewelled sorceress some
dreaming Circe by the river bank, pon
dering new spells so Paris lay In all
her mystery and beauty under the July
Sengoun, his arm throue-h Neeland's
had become affectionately confidential.
He explained that he really was a noc
turnal creRture: that now he had com
pletely waked up; that his habits were
due to a passion for astronomy, and
that the stars he had discovered at odd
hours of the early morning were more
amazing than any celestial bodies ever
before identified.
It was after the two young men had
left the Jardin Russe that Captain Sen
goun positively but affectionately re
fused to relinquish possession of Nee
land's arm.
Dear friend," he explained. "I am
Just waking up and I do not wish to go
to nea for days and days."
But I do, returned Neeland. laugh
ing. "Where do you want to go now.
Prince Erlik?"
The champagne was singing loudly In
the Cossack's handsome head; the dis
tant brilliancy beyond the Place de la
Concorde riveted his roving eyes.
Over there," he said, joyously. "Lis
ten, old fellow, I'll teach you the skat-
ng step as we cross the Place! Then.
In the first Bal, you shall try It on the
fairest form since Helen fell and Troy
burned or Troy fell and Helen burned
it's all the same, old fellow what
you call fifty-fifty, eh?" .
Neeland tried to free his arm to ex
cuse himself; two policemen laughed;
but" Sengoun, linking his arm more
firmly in Neeland's, crossed the Place
In a series of Dutch rolls and outer
edges, in which Neeland was compelled
to join.
The spectacle of two young fellow
In evening dress, in a friendly tug-of-war
under the lamp-posts of the boule
vard, amused the passing populace: and
Sengoun, noticing this, was inclined to
mount a boulevard bench and address
the wayfarers, but Neeland pulled him
down and persuaded him into a quieter
street, the rue Vllna.
"There's a German place, now!" ex
claimed Sengoun, delighted.
And Neeland, turning to look, per
ceived the Illuminated sign of the Cafe
des Bulgars.
Sengoun protested in loud, nasal tones
that the house to which his comrade
referred was suspected of unfair play;
and a noisy dispute began, listened to
attentively by the pretty but brightly
painted cashier, the waiters, the gerant,
and every guest in the neighborhood.
As for me, cried Sengoun, feigning
to lose his temper, "I have no intention
of being tricked. I was not born yes
terday not I! If there Is to be found
an honest wheel In Paris that would
suit me. Otherwise, I go home to bed!"
"It Is an honest wheel, I tell you
"It is not! I know that place"
"Be reasonable "
"Reasonable!" repeated Sengoun, ap-
pealingly to the people around them.
"Permit me to ask these unusually in
telligent gentlemen whether it is rea
sonable to play roulette in a place
where the wheel Is notoriously con
trolled and the management a dishonest
one! Could a gentleman be expected to
frequent or even to countenance places
of evil repute? Messieurs, I await your
verdict!" And he folded his arms dra
matically. .
Somebody said, from a neighboring
Vous avez parfattement raison, mon
"I thank you," cried Sengoun, with an
admirably dramatic bow. "Therefore, J
shall now go home to bed!"
Neeland, maintaining his gravity with
difficulty, followed Sengoun toward the
door, still pretending to plead with him:
and the gerant, a tall, blond, rosy and
unmistakable German, stepped forward
to unlock the door.
As he laid his hand on the bolt he
said In a whisper:
"If the gentlemen desire the privi
lege of an exclusive club where every
thing is unquestionably conducted "
"Where?" demanded Neeland, ab
ruptly. "On the third floor, monsieur."
"Certainly, sir. If the gentlemen will
honor me with their names, and will be
seated for one little moment, I shall
see what can be accomplished."
(To be continued next Sunday.)